Q&A: Could I get a job as a dental assistant in Texas if I get my online degree from Penn Foster College ?

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Question by Mellow_1987: Could I get a job as a dental assistant in Texas if I get my online degree from Penn Foster College ?

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im sure itd be tough

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  • Rick says:

    Nope, that would be one of many expertises you can’t gain any experience needed online.
    And employers don’t tend to hire graduates of online-only colleges, as there’s no proof they actually did the work.

  • Rustic B says:

    No. But you might be able to get a job at Hooters or Starbucks. Of course, for Hooters it will help if you look like this:


    Basically, you have to have large mammary glands. Otherwise, you have no job prospects because employers don’t consider online degrees to be valid.

  • Penn Foster says:

    First thing, our program is for Dental Assistant as opposed to “Certified” Dental Assistant. Usually, for “Certified” or “Expanded Duty” status, states require completion of a National exam – primarily from the DANB (Dental Assistant National Board) – before any licensing is issued. Also, prospects must complete at least 3000 hours (more in some states) to be considered for those title designations. For more information, I suggest following these two links for more requirement information specific to your state of residency and a breakdown on the components of the exam.

    http://www.danb.org/main/statespecificinfo.asp – (state definitions and requirements)

    http://www.danb.org/exams/examinfo.asp – (exam information and breakdown)

    DANB does offer a certification examination process. Passage of the exams allows the Dental Assistant to use the designation CDA (Certified Dental Assistant). DANB requires that non-CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) graduates must complete a minimum of 3000 – 3500 hours of work experience over 2-4 years and validated by their employer before they can take the CDA/General Chairside Exam.

    There are no prerequisites for this course other than being 17 or older with a High School Diploma or GED.

    There is no internship/externship required with this course. However, there is a Work Experience Option available to gain 200 hours of supervised field experience. Certified Dental Assistants are required to have approximately 3000 – 3500 hours of work experience and other credentials to obtain the Certified level.

    Also, our program is not a College Degree but rather a Career Diploma for entry level work into this field. This program will provide you with entry-level education to obtain work in the dental field. Although Penn Foster does provide resources to help you find field experience or a job, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to search, locate, apply, and interview for these positions. We encourage you to look at our Career Services site (Career Services | Penn Foster Career School) to get a better idea of what Penn Foster can do for you in this area. Education is but a piece of the big puzzle. We are here to provide this part of your journey.

    If you understand that our program is a an entry level program and that exams will not be necessary until you meet the experience and testing requirements to move to the next level, then you can make your decision from there.

    This is great program to provide you with the entry level education to get started in this field while waiting for the higher level of education that will be needed to obtain the Certified credentials. Penn Foster current students and graduates can take the Infection Control (ICE) and Radiation & Safety (RHS) Exams at any time. They do not have any prerequisite pathways – they are “free-standing exams.” As long as all 3 components (ICE, RHS, GC) are taken and passed within 5 years, Dental Assistants can build their CDA credentials accordingly (along with the hours and other requirements to meet the CDA level).

    Good luck in your research.